eOne's October '11 Releases
Faces in the Crowd (October 21/11)
Faces in the Crowd follows Milla Jovovich's Anna Marchant as she's left unable to recognize faces after she's attacked by a notorious serial killer, with the movie subsequently detailing a grizzled cop's (Julian McMahon's Kerrest) ongoing efforts at both protecting Anna and capturing her pursuer. Despite the thriller-like nature of the setup, Faces in the Crowd primarily comes off as a low-key drama revolving around Anna's post-accident existence - as writer/director Julien Magnat visualizes Anna's condition by placing different actors in the same roles throughout the movie's running time. It's an admittedly silly gimmick that is, for the most part, utilized to better-than-expected effect by Magnat, as the filmmaker does a nice job of sporadically wringing suspense out of Anna's confusion (eg she's pursued by a tenacious figure that ultimately turns out to be her father). There's little doubt, then, that Faces in the Crowd's downfall is triggered by its unreasonably deliberate pace, with Magnat's lackadaisical sensibilities draining the proceedings of its urgency and ensuring that the movie inevitably begins to fizzle out as it passes the halfway mark. And although the increased emphasis on needless subplots (eg Anna and Kerrest's romance) is certainly problematic, Faces in the Crowd's biggest deficiency is in its treatment of the central villain - as there's never a point at which the viewer isn't completely aware of the killer's identity (ie from the second he steps into the frame, we know we're looking at the bad guy). The end result is a strange hybrid of drama and thriller that doesn't entirely work, although, admittedly, the novel premise and Jovovich's strong performance almost manage to compensate for the pervasively uneven atmosphere.
Gerry (October 22/11)
Directed by Alain Desrochers, Gerry details the life and times of famed Quebecois singer Gerry Boulet (Mario Saint-Amand) - with the film charting his humble beginnings through to his success as the lead singer of Offenbach. Filmmaker Desrochers, working from a screenplay by Nathalie Petrowski, has infused Gerry with an almost unreasonably hackneyed feel that's reflected most keenly in its structure, as the movie opens with Gerry and his bandmates about to perform a pivotal gig and quickly flashes back into the title character's uneventful childhood. (It is, in the wake of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, virtually impossible to take this sort of thing seriously anymore.) From there, Gerry follows precisely the sort of trajectory that one has come to associate with films of this ilk - as Desrochers infuses the lackadaisical narrative with elements of a hopelessly predictable and downright clichéd nature (eg Gerry ignores his wife and child to play music, Gerry gets into the '70s drug scene, etc). Far more problematic is the unreasonably drawn-out running time, with Desroches' ongoing efforts at filling out the movie's 131 minutes (!) resulting in a panoply of aggressively pointless sequences (eg Gerry's psychedelic exploits in France). It's ultimately impossible to shake the feeling that Gerry Boulet is simply too obscure of a figure to justify such epic treatment, and there's little doubt that even fans of the singer will find the movie excessive and overblown.